Chemical selection and screening | Chemical-use policy and practices | Chemical handling
| Europe and China’s banned substances | Lead | Halogens, antimony trioxide and red phosphorous
Producing world-class semiconductors involves the use of hazardous and nonhazardous chemicals and gases, which is why TI has stringent controls in place to manage them. We also continuously assess potential environmental, safety and health impacts of these materials as new scientific information becomes available and regulations are adopted.
Chemical selection and screening
We screen all incoming chemicals before incorporating them into our semiconductor manufacturing processes. Screening includes a review of customer concerns and regulatory standards, in addition to any environmental, safety and health controls required for their use. TI also has restrictions and standards related to chemicals incorporated into supplier contracts.
If concerns about a chemical or other material arise during review, the matter is elevated to a chemical and material review board staffed by company experts. If a chemical or material is thought to be necessary for manufacturing but still raises concerns, the company’s manufacturing leaders review the issue; where appropriate, they authorize additional time and resources to seek a safer alternative, or implement more stringent use controls.
Chemical-use policy and practices
TI is committed to complying with all applicable laws and regulations for chemical use. For example, we:
While not currently required, TI is eliminating the use of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in manufacturing as well. (Click here for a complete list of chemicals TI restricts.)
- Prohibit the use of Class I and Class II ozone-depleting substances in manufacturing.
- Prohibit the use of persistent organic pollutants as defined by the United Nations Environmental Program.
- Prohibit chemicals on the Prior Informed Consent list under the Rotterdam Convention.
- Support the mission and objectives of the Basel Convention (Annex I, II, III and VIII), which addresses environmental protection through the proper management of used chemicals and materials.
- Do not manufacture products that contain radioactive substances.
- Select the lowest risk chemicals for use whenever possible.
After we approve chemicals for use, we carefully manage their transport, distribution and disposal. The basic goal of our chemical-safety program is to minimize human contact with all chemicals. We accomplish this in six ways:
- Availability of information. We work closely with our chemical supply chain to ensure that employees and contractors have up-to-date usage and handling information.
- Engineering controls and personal protective equipment. We provide engineering controls such as safety interlocks and ventilation to prevent employee exposure to chemicals. Employees who work with or near hazardous chemicals or gases in areas without built-in engineering controls are required to wear personal protective equipment and understand how to properly use it.
- Chemical dock operations. We tightly control and protect chemical deliveries and storage by asking chemical professionals to handle all chemicals at one central location per site. An internal numbering system controls internal delivery and safety procedures.
- Just-in-time purchasing. We implement inventory controls to reduce potential chemical storage risks while maintaining an appropriate supply.
- Closed chemical delivery system. Our chemicals are automatically fed to work locations through a series of carefully constructed distribution systems with appropriate leak detection, ventilation and abatement controls. We use double-walled piping and additional containment systems where needed.
- Used chemical management. We minimize any amount of discharged chemicals through several protective measures, including wastewater treatment, wet scrubbers, thermal oxidizers and absorbers. Where on-site treatment is not available, licensed disposal contractors recycle and reuse valuable materials or dispose of waste appropriately.
Europe and China’s banned substances
Both the European Union (EU) and China have issued stringent standards for product content and have banned some chemicals altogether. For example, the EU’s Restriction on Use of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS) regulation has been in effect since 2006. It was recently updated (RoHS2) in an effort to resolve uncertainties and increase market surveillance and enforcement.
RoHS2 bans new electrical or electronic equipment containing lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl and polybrominated diphenyl ether flame-retardants above specified thresholds from entering the EU. We have reviewed RoHS2’s new equipment categories to ensure compliance and meet customer information needs. About 95 percent of our worldwide net product sales are shipped in accordance with EU RoHS legislation.
To comply with the EU’s Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), TI and other manufacturers must gather (and under some circumstances) file information about the properties of chemical substances used in Europe. We also provide assurances to customers about the status of REACH-listed substances in our products.
China published its own set of production requirements: the China Management Methods for Controlling Pollution by Electronic Information Products (China RoHS). Although our components are not required to meet China RoHS labeling requirements (which apply primarily to end-equipment manufacturers), we changed our shipping labels and provided additional information to our customers so they can more easily meet their compliance needs.
Long before legislation required such measures, TI led the industry in developing lead (Pb)-free alternatives for products. We introduced our first Pb-free alternative, a nickel-palladium finish, in 1989. We completed most component conversions well ahead of the EU RoHS deadline. For products not identified for conversion, we work with customers to find suitable RoHS2-compliant or other green solutions.
Although most of our customers have shifted to using Pb-free products, we continue to manufacture a few products that contain lead for those who require it. For those customers, we are working to find more optimal uses of lead or to eliminate older technology styles that use lead in less-efficient ways by 2016.
Upon request, we can often provide certification and analytical data from our suppliers to support their verification of the material content in our products.
Halogens, antimony trioxide and red phosphorous
One of the current challenges facing TI and the semiconductor industry today is how to reduce or eliminate two halogenated flame retardants that have been integral to semiconductor processing: brominated flame retardants and chlorinated flame retardants. These flame retardants are incorporated into some of our products.
Although the small amounts of halogens contained in the products pose no risk as sold, improper and unsafe recycling practices could be cause for concern. Thus, many electronic product distributors are under increasing pressure from advocacy groups to eliminate this potential risk.
We continue to educate customers about the challenge of developing low-halogen products and the potential risk to product integrity. We have completed an internal inventory of the two halogens used in our existing product line.
TI’s green-defined integrated circuit products address environmental concerns even beyond the scope of existing regulations and do meet low-halogen requirements. TI defines “green” to mean lead-free; RoHS-compliant; and free of chlorine, bromine and antimony trioxide-based flame retardants. Our “Halogens, Chlorine and Bromine: Concentration in TI’s ‘Green’ Devices” document explains the thresholds for brominated flame retardants and chlorinated flame retardants, as well as other standards.
TI completed the majority of its conversion to green compounds in 2005. Today, more than 90 percent of the semiconductor products we ship are considered green (and meet low-halogen industry requirements).